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Just five AFL millionaires in 2013

By AAP .
21 February 2014 05:34PM EST

THE AFL's millionaires club became more exclusive last year, with the number of players on seven-figure deals dropping from eight to five.

Gold Coast's Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett, star Sydney recruit Kurt Tippett, big-name Greater Western Sydney signing Tom Scully and St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt are understood to have earned more than $1 million last season.

But immediately underneath them, there was a dramatic increase in players earning high six-figure salaries as total payments kept growing.

The 18 clubs paid a gross total of $181,560,623 to their players, an increase of 4.5 per cent from 2012.

The number of players earning between $600,000 and up to $1 million doubled - from 18 in 2012 to 36 last season.

The average salary for a listed player last year was $265,179, up from $251,559 the year before.

It is understood the number of million dollar-plus players fell because of front-ended contracts and other salary cap factors.

Ablett and Scully are obvious candidates because they were star recruits for the two expansion clubs.

Tippett's boom deal with the Swans also pushed him into the top bracket.

Riewoldt is most likely in the seven-figure club because he is St Kilda's biggest name and the only player on their list who could command such a high salary.

Player payments have skyrocketed over the past decade.

In 2004, gross payments were $108,645,462. The average wage was $185,656 and no player earned more than $900,000.

AFL PLAYERS CONTINUE TO ENJOY BIGGER WAGES:
2004:
Gross total player payments: $108,645,462
Average wage: $184,656
No players earned more than $900,000

2013:
Gross total player payments: $181,560,623
Average wage: 265,179
Five players earned more than $1 million

* Total gross payments increased by 4.5 per cent from 2012
* The number of listed players earning between $600,000 and $1 million doubled from 2012 to 2013, from 18 to 36.

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